Just not in the ways you expect
Louise is an entrepreneur. Over the last six years, she’s built a passive income of five figures a month. She now travels the world with her husband and daughter.
Following her strategy, I launched my first course in November 2020. I’ve since made $2,700 from seven Udemy courses.
This isn’t as much as I hoped.
My goal was to make $1,300 a month by the end of 2021.
Two of my courses have flunked. One got banned. However, making a Udemy course is still worthwhile, and it will change your life.
Reason #1: Doors swing open
I fell short of my goal.
However, I’m now averaging $1,300 a month online from various income streams — just not in the ways I expected. I blog, write for clients, and have courses on different platforms.
One of these platforms is Zero to Mastery (ZTM): a global academy of 500,000+ developers.
Someone from the ZTM team found my courses on Udemy. He asked if I’d like to collaborate. After some back and forth, we agreed to work together.
Our first course went live in September 2021. It’s made just under $1,200 to date. With the upcoming launch of my next course, I’m hoping to grow this to $2,600 a month.
When you’ve got clarity on a goal, the world conspires in your favour.
Doors swing open.
Reason #2: You’ll prove to yourself you can make money online
This is HUGE.
I still remember the day a complete stranger bought my course. It was magical!
Once you’ve sold a course, you can sell another.
The jump from $10 to $1,000 isn’t as big as you might think.
Reason #3: The money you make is passive (once you’ve launched the course)
Most people don’t get this.
Once you’ve launched a Udemy course, that’s it. It’ll deliver money as you sleep.
All I have to do is respond to messages and thank people for reviews. This takes less than an hour a month. You can add bonus videos if you want, but it’s not necessary.
By hosting my courses on Udemy and Skillshare, I don’t have to find students. They’re already there. This is what separates Udemy from platforms like Teachable.
Many courses sell for hundreds of dollars. They’re often self-hosted. In other words, the course creator will have their own website, run Facebook ads, and deal with customers. This can bring more stress but potentially a greater reward.
The Udemy model means you’ll sell courses at a much lower price point. However, you’ll likely sell a greater number of them.
Personally, I want my course income to be passive, and that’s what Udemy gives me. I also want them to be mass market. I enjoy that my courses are affordable to anyone in the world.
Which option is best depends on your goals.
A couple of caveats…
Your course needs to be good.
This doesn’t mean high-end production. Keep it simple. A few well-placed lamps will do the trick.
I haven’t got fancy equipment. My tech consists of a laptop, a Blue Yeti mic, and some free software.
If you’re going to invest in anything, make it a mic. Sound is king. As long as you’re providing value, people are forgiving.
The launch week is important.
You can’t launch a course and hope people find it.
You have to give it a push.
And push hard. Lean on your network as much as possible. Getting reviews is important for SEO.
However, after launching my courses, I do very little.
They often rank in positions 1–3 on Udemy for their target keywords.
Want to make a successful online course?
Tip #1: Identify gaps in the market
Topic choice is vital.
You have to think not only what will people pay for, but what will enough people pay for?
Many people create a Udemy course without looking at the competition. They’ll think about what they could teach, jump behind a camera, and start filming.
It’s possible to get lucky. There’s also a chance you could spend days making a course that no one ever sees.
That would suck.
Given that you’ll make around $3 per sale, and that it could take around 50 hours to make a course, you need to make it worth your while.”
— Louise Croft, top-rated Udemy course creator
Search for existing Udemy courses on your topic and see how yours could be different.
Could it be more detailed? Could it look more professional? Could it target a different audience?
If you can’t find a gap in the market, you may have to choose another topic.
Tip #2: Search for keywords on Udemy
Which keywords can you rank for?
Before mine, the top-ranking Udemy course for “outsource to a virtual assistant” had just 19 ratings from 1,742 students. The content also seemed fluffy.
I knew I could do better.
The best way to find keywords is to do a search on Udemy. I wrote down a list of keywords and searched for as many variations as I could think of.
The key is to find keywords that give you an opportunity to make money but aren’t overly competitive.
Tip #3: Choose your primary keywords & plan your course
I wrote down a list of topics and put them into five sections.
Each section has an intro to tell students what to expect, and these intros are around two minutes long. The teaching videos are between five and ten minutes.
I recommend between two to three hours of content. If they’re shorter than this, there’s probably not enough material. Too much longer and students may feel overwhelmed. If this is an issue, you can always break the content down into multiple courses.
Make sure your course focuses on your primary keyword. Here are places to include it:
- At the beginning of the course title
- In the course subtitle
- Multiple times throughout the course description
In my outsourcing course description, I’ve included “outsource to a virtual assistant” multiple times, as well as variations of it. These include “outsource tasks” and “outsourcing to a virtual assistant”.
It sounds natural and I’ve been careful not to mention it too many times:
This is the biggest benefit of making a Udemy course.
18 months ago, making money online seemed a million miles away — let alone passively. Now, I’m making about $15 a day from my online courses.
Here are three tips to make a Udemy course that can help you make money in your sleep:
- Identify gaps in the market
- Search for keywords on Udemy
- Choose your primary keyword and plan your course